Yankee Ingenuity (Kitchen Facelift Under $300)

Progress on my kitchen has been slow but coming along nicely.  It doesn’t even look like the same room (for phase 1, click here.)

  Keeping the price tag to under $300 has been easy so far but the most recent project was an exercise in Yankee ingenuity.  The mission:  re-purpose an old blanket cabinet into an island of sorts to give added workspace closer to the stove.



The cupboard presented several problems:  it was 2 inches shorter than average counter height and the legs made the cupboard appear to “float” in the kitchen. 

Enter my friend Robert and his creative genius.

Robert raised the cupboard with some 1 x 4’s he had lying around which eliminated both issues in one fell swoop.  He attached the 1 x 4’s around the bottom of the cabinet, raising it the needed 2 inches and boxed in the legs to give the visual effect of the cupboard sitting solidly on the floor.

1x4's raised the cabinet to the needed height

1x4's raised the cabinet to the needed height

I purchased a bead board panel from the hardware store  ($31.49) and we attached it to the back side of the cabinet so it would visually flow with the existing cabinets in the kitchen.

I used an orbital sander to remove the old cherry stain from the top of the cabinet and found a very lovely red pine work surface underneath.  A few coats of polyurethane ($5.99) will ensure the work surface stays looking lovely.

I removed the hinges and knob from the cabinet doors, spray painted them satin black that I had left over from the switch plates and school house light and painted the cabinet the same Spanish Chestnut ($10.47) as the walls but used a high gloss for ease of cleaning.

An old blanket cabinet given new life

An old blanket cabinet given new life



Total to date on my kitchen face lift:  $166.45. 

But wait!  There’s more!

If you look at the top picture you’ll see the cabinet butted up against a wall.  That wall was a huge waste of space.  Look at the picture again and you’ll see the refrigerator kind of stuck in the corner. 

I think the wall was put up to hide a chimney and perhaps create an alcove of sorts for the fridge.  It didn’t work, it was wasted space and it had to go.

Enter Robert and his tool box again.  The idea was to gain space so the refrigerator could be turned to face the same direction as the stove (you know, just like everyone else’s kitchen). 

The wall came down and Robert used a scrap piece of sheetrock to close in the chimney.  I gained two more feet of usable space, we switched the hardware on the fridge so it would open on a right hand swing, and voila!

The  biggest project will be the floor.  I don’t have the resources (read “cash”) to put in a new one, so the peel and stick vinyl flooring is next on my hit list.  The room needs color and that’s where I intend to use it.

the floor

Next on the list: the floor

So until next time, be assured I’ll be in my Downeast paradise scheming up more ways to save a buck  ( a lot of bucks) and get what I want:  a functional and pretty kitchen for under $300.


7 responses to “Yankee Ingenuity (Kitchen Facelift Under $300)

  1. LDE

    Wow….what a transformation.

    This segment really belongs on Martha Stuart’s Show.

    Robert and you are really talented.

    It was really fun watching your post.

    Congrats !!! Very well done.

  2. Thanks, Neil! It looks fantastic and you can’t beat the price! : )

  3. You wouldn’t know it – that I actually like Martha Stewart and her show. Have for years…..

    Now that I spelled “Stewart” properly 🙂


  4. G. Dubya Kennibunkbush

    Nice job, LDE, it looks marvelous.
    However, it’s these nifty, thrifty penny-pinching
    homeowner do-it-yourself projects that are
    killing the economy. Get out there and spend like
    a drunken American from the 1990’s.
    Do it for your contry and the future generation
    of comsumers to come. Luv ya, Dubya

  5. Thank you, Chrissy, and as always your input is greatly appreciated! Just remember the “You can’t blame” song….that includes the economy too! xo

  6. Pingback: Kitchen Face lift (Under $300) Continues… « Living Downeast

  7. Most people look at old furniture and homes and dont see the restoration ability in redoing it and how nice it will look afterwards.

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